When polishing a concrete floor or sanding a deck, it's important to try to minimize the dust, especially when the area being polished or grinded has people in it.
For a commercial job, this will mean that the customer can have a much better experience, and you and your workers will be safer on the job.
For DIY, it is much less disturbing and less harmful for you and your family to not have to breathe in the fine dust generated from floor grinding.
The Importance of Dust Removal and the OSHA
Dust is always a factor on a job site, whether it is inside or outside. Reduction of harmful dust caused by work can be an ongoing occupational health and safety hazard.
The US OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) are continuously tightening up regulations on safety in construction and dust is a special consideration. Due to the fact that there are hundreds of harmful chemicals that can be inhaled through construction dust (such as silica – a known carcinogen), dust removal is incredibly important.
Using a safety mask only helps block some of the contaminants and a full respirator mask can be bulky and uncomfortable, especially if worn for hours at a time.
A proper industrial vacuum is the best way to protect the health of workers in grinding, polishing or sanding activities.
Labor Efficient Cleaning
When considering dust removal from a commercial standpoint, removing dust as you grind, polish, or sand, is actually more labor efficient than cleaning sites post-work since the continuous dust pick-up is facilitated with the dust extraction port of the grinder and is no longer a separate task.
What Equipment to Select
The most important part of ensuring a dustless job-site when you are polishing is to obtain a proper concrete dust vacuum system which is appropriate for your job size.
A concrete vacuum attachment will connect to your grinder of floor polisher, removing the majority of the dust automatically as you grind. A proper industrial concrete vacuum is the only way to remove dust from a grinding site efficiently. If your job is a one-off, the vacuum attachment can be rented with the grinding equipment; all professional rental suppliers will provide this option. If you complete grinding jobs on a regular basis, it's a good idea to purchase a vacuum attachment.
Following grinding, complete a full cleanup of the small amount of remaining dust on site with the same vacuum, using a floor attachment. This will effectively clean the area in a safe manner.
HEPA Vacuum Filters
A HEPA filter is an option on all high-quality concrete vacuum systems like the OnfloorDynavac Pro range. The HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorber) filter, originally a trademark, is now a recognized generic term for a standard for filters that meet a minimum standard of efficiency.
To meet the minimum quality standards, a HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or greater from the air passing through. HEPA filters are important for areas where high levels of cleanliness are important. Areas such as hospitals, schools, or food preparation facilities should always use HEPA filters.
HEPA filters should be used when silica dust is involved.
Summary of Maintaining a Dust Free Work Site
Using an appropriately sized industrial vacuum attachment, which connects to the dust extraction port on the grinder or polisher is the best way to ensure dust-free work space.
Following grinding, a simple clean-up is needed to remove any additional dust. When vacuuming concrete dust, you must use a vacuum that is equipped with a HEPA filter. A clean and dustless site will have your customers far happier with the job, keep you and your workers safer, meet OSHA standards for safety, and as a bonus, it will repay itself by reduced clean-up times.